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Announcement :: DNC : Human Rights : Organizing : Politics : Social Welfare
Lafayette Eight Trial: April 13
05 Apr 2006
On April 14, 2004, eight Boston area community activists were arrested in Lafayette
Square, on the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Main Street.

Thursday April 13, 2006

Cambridge District Court
14th Floor
40 Thorndike Street
Cambridge MA 02141


On April 14, 2004, eight Boston area community activists were arrested in Lafayette
Square, on the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Main Street.

The location had previously been the end point of the Cambridge leg of March to Abolish
Poverty in an event co-coordinated by march organizers and the local chapter of Homes Not

Lafayette Square was chosen for the rally due to the fact that MIT had pushed for the
property to be seized from the private owner via eminent domain. MIT wanted the property
to form a buffer zone between their commercial development at University Park and the
more working-class and low income neighborhood of Area 4.

As a result, local activists targeted the location to call attention to MIT's plans and
embarrass city administrators for failing to properly utilize the property for public
good, as the parameters of eminent domain supposedly dictate.

During the rally a banner was dropped over the abandoned gas station proclaiming, "Public
space for communities, not private universities!" Local businesses donated coffee to the
crowd and Food Not Bombs provided refreshments after the day's march.

In the two weeks period following the march and rally, organizers and community activists
donated labor and time into fixing up the abandoned property, removing unsightly and
dangerous clutter, debris and trash, and even planting flowers and a young sapling.

Neighborhood residents from Area 4 displayed their support and appreciation by donating
tools, plants, and potting soil. This positive sense of community solidarity and pride
was dramatically cut short by the actions of City Manager Robert W. Healy and the
Cambridge Police Department. On April 14, 2002 eight organizers were arrested at random
and charged with multiple felonies for their effort.

At the courthouse the next morning for the arraignment, the District Attorney's office
made their intentions clear with opening remarks challenging the citizenship status of
the defendants.

Within a few months, the charges had been dropped on the two juvenile defendants, leaving
the six remaining adult defendants to suffer through two years of pretrial litigation in
which state prosecutors attempted to claim authority to subvert due process of the court
due to the political affiliation of the defendants, claimed that the original police
report was all that was necessary to provide defense counsel during discovery, and
otherwise wasted the time of the defendants, their counsel, and the court.

Finally, on April 13, 2006 the time has come for the Lafayette Eight to have their day in
court. Please mark your calendars and help us pack the courtroom with supporters.
Selective arrest and prosecution of community activists cannot be tolerated. We must show
City Manager Robert W. Healy, the Cambridge Police Department, and the District
Attorney's office that we stand by our friends as they face trial for the crime of
attempting to improve the conditions of our neighborhood.


For more information, please contact the Boston ABC.

This work is in the public domain
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Re: Lafayette Eight Trial: April 13
06 Apr 2006
is there some kind of two-year mark they're trying to beat here?
Re: Lafayette Eight Trial: April 13
09 Apr 2006
Re: Lafayette Eight Trial: April 13
10 Apr 2006
Cambridge believes that shutting dowm crack houses is discriminatory.